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Why Does He Keep Coming Back?

By: Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited

I keep dumping my narcissist - and he keeps coming back for more. I accept him (can't resist him when he is his charming self). But then things go awry and the cycle repeats itself. Why does he keep coming back?


Narcissists are addicted to a drug known as "Narcissistic Supply". Attention (good OR bad), adulation, applause, fame, celebrity, notoriety - are all narcissistic supply. The people who supply these consistently, reliably, and predictably, are called "Narcissistic Supply Sources".

Why should the narcissist look for another source of supply if the current source of supply is available (always accepts him back)?

Cultivating a source of secondary narcissistic supply is a VERY time consuming and energy consuming affair. The path of least resistance (reverting to old sources) is always preferred.

The old source has the advantage of having recorded memories of past grandeur. Her very "surrender" and "yielding to his charms" IS the supply he seeks.

He sort of pushes the envelope, trying to ascertain and map the outer limits of his potency as irresistible male and mate. The more tortured the relationship - the sweeter the recurrent victory. This is doubly true when the narcissist is in the throes of life crises such as loss of a job, divorce, serious illness, etc.

He then tends to derive self esteem and a sense of self worth by proxy, by being associated with a successful woman

You may wish to refresh your memory regarding libidinal allocation in pathological narcissists:


To summarize:

Your narcissist keeps coming back and remains fixated on you because he has no free libido to employ in the pursuit of alternative sources. And because you keep accepting him back.


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